Benefit from the deep bench of experienced research analysts, strategists, and economists. The team performs extensive analysis to develop long-term investment themes and strategic forecasts for the economy and asset class returns. A range of risk-based portfolios is then constructed to align with their best thinking.
Long-term capital markets forecasts
The traditional approach to developing capital markets forecasts is backward-looking and inherently inflexible, focusing on historic data and being guided by the past. As such, it is devoid of current world economic conditions and challenges.
Our more flexible, forward-looking approach, which fuses a series of considerations to inform return assumptions and outlooks, features a number of differentiating characteristics:
- Accommodates our economic outlook and reflects current and future economic and market realities
- Looks past traditional asset class breakdowns to diversify by the economic drivers of returns
- Understands the relationship between economic factors and financial market behavior
- Factors in key economic inputs like gross domestic product, credit spreads, yield curve slope
In fact, domestic and international economic factors were primary in the formation of our outlook, as described in our 2020 Capital Markets Forecast commentary, Wheat from the chaff: obstacles and opportunities, where we made 1- and 10-year forecasts that will be revisited every few years:
- U.S. economy stable but slowing growth leading to a shallow recession in the next few years
- Low-return environment to persist, boosting importance of interest and dividend income vs. capital appreciation
- Emerging, or developing, nations to provide outsized returns down the road, as "old" economies shift to "new" economies
We rely on our capital markets forecasts and projected returns to determine how we think assets should be weighted, or allocated, in portfolios.
Our resulting long-term strategic asset allocation strategies reflect opportunities and produce benchmarks consistent with long-term views that:
- Include basic asset classes (equities, fixed income, and cash) and sub-asset classes (U.S. large-cap equities, municipal bonds, and high-yield bonds)
- Range in predetermined risk categories, from aggressive through conservative
- Feature tax-advantaged or taxable models
- Offer nontraditional investments (such as hedge funds and, for qualified investors, private equity)